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Training for Agility: What types of Treats?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I am a cat show beginner, and I'm trying to train my kittens for the agility contests.

Does anyone have any advice about what treats to give to the cat? The treats I currently have are a bit too big for a kitten to eat with any speed. Is there a treat that kind of "melts in their mouth" so that they are ready to go again quickly?

Are there any treats that are low calorie?

Also, has anyone used the "Clicker" training techniques for their cat? I am going to get a clicker startup kit soon.

Does anyone know of some good cat training books?

post #2 of 7
Clicker training does work on cats... same principal w/ dogs...if they do a behavior you want them to repeat, click and treat them. Etc.

My cats like the "temptations" treats. They are small, crunchy outside and "meaty" inside. They eat them fast as well. BUT I don't think they're very good for them.

That said, I think the cat version of agility is done by "leading" the cat through obsticles with a "teaser" type toy (wand toy). So, if that is the case, maybe get one of the home agility sets for dogs and practice "leading" the cat around the obsticles? That way, you could leave the obsticles out in your home to let the cat get used to them.

Not sure on cat training books, but most of the clicker training books should apply (again, same principal with cats as in dogs).

post #3 of 7
Good luck. I tried it with Charlie since he's pretty smart. He took to parts of it, but not all at home. In the show, he decided it was more fun to explore. So I never persued it any more

Seems you have to have a lot of patience. Food rewards don't work with cats like they do with dog agility (Keno's trained in dog agility). You mainly use the feather toys, laser lights, etc.

I've never had luck in clicker training for the dog, let alone try it for the cat
post #4 of 7
I am planning to do the same thing with my kitten. I have just started clicker training him but haven't done much yet... I have heard good things about Karen Pryor's cat clicker training book.

What I was planning to do with the cat agility is to teach the obstacles but then also teach the cat to follow a target stick and use that as well for the agility obstacles.
post #5 of 7
Should work, you'll just have to find a treat that the cat REALLY likes, something that is so good that your cat will perform a complex action (and keep their attention on you) to get it. Maybe a treat, or you might have to use a teaser as the reward.

post #6 of 7
I don't actually know anything about training but I will reccomend a treat.

It's actually a dog treat, pure bites. It is freeze dried chicken

My cats WILL DO ANYTHING for them. My 16 pound siamese will leap off the ground for these treats and he's taught himself some neat tricks which include opening drawers, cupboards and knocking over bookshelfs in order to get said treats.

I also know you can break them into tiny pieces and they still go just as nuts for them since once cello actually almost ground them into a powder (they were in the bag and he was trying to get them out when I wasn't home one day) and he still ate the little tiny chunks that were left.

Worth a shot?
good luck!
post #7 of 7
Oops I forgot to comment about treats in my previous message! I have been using canned cat food so far because my kitten takes a long time to eat any type of hard treat. I have been using a spoon and then just giving him a bite when I click.

Other treats I think might work well if your cat eats a little faster than mine are:

Wildside Salmon-- freeze-dried salmon, my older cat is crazy for this.
Ziwipeak cat food-- I just got some samples of this in the mail and my brother's kitten was SO interested in the package! All the cats seem to really like this stuff, and it is similar to small jerky-type treats.
Zuke's cat treats-- These are semi-moist, small treats.
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